Lovie won't put timetable on Jeffery return

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is expected to have his fractured right hand re-evaluated over the next two days, but coach Lovie Smith refused to put a timetable on when the rookie will return.

Jeffery has missed the past two games after he suffered the broken hand in the fourth quarter of the Bears' win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 7. Although the injury did not require surgery, Jeffery's right hand was placed in a cast.

"I wouldn't even try to guess exactly when he's coming back," Smith said. "I just know he's making progress and we're hopeful."

Despite sitting out the last two weeks, Jeffery is still the Bears' third-leading receiver with 14 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns. The club has clearly missed his contributions not only in the passing game, but also in the red zone and as a run blocker.

Smith says he has no reason to believe Jeffery won't pick up right where he left off whenever he gets medically cleared to resume playing.

"You have to first off stay in the game mentally, and he's doing that ... (in) meetings or even when you are watching the game from the sidelines now you can look at it from a different perspective to help your game," Smith said. "Then staying in shape, keeping your conditioning up. He's doing all the things you can do if you're injured. And to be a good pro for years to come you're going to have an injury you're going to have to deal with so you need to lean this routine, which he is doing.

"No complaints about him at all. Can't wait to get him back out there."